The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement has called on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to start afresh with the recruitment process of appointing the next prosecutor general, claiming the current process was tainted.
The pressure group wants the JSC to embark on a consultative process on the process and requirements for a prosecutor general and that the new process embarked upon be entirely transparent. The AR is also insisting the interviews should be conducted in public.
“It is shocking that the chief justice would succumb himself to leading such a corrupt process which destroys the fundamental principles of our constitutional democracy,” said AR leader Job Amupanda. He further advised the JSC to tap into the wisdom of their South African counterparts where interviews for the appointments of judges are publicly televised.
“Assuming that this process is not corrupt, the secretive JSC had the opportunity to redeem itself as per our written request for the names of all applicants to be made public and the interviews to be held in public,” Amupanda told journalists yesterday.
AR addressed the media following the announcement by the Office of the Judiciary that the JSC has shortlisted the incumbent Martha Imalwa, who has been in charge of the PG’s office for the past 16 years, former magistrate Ruth Herunga and former State advocate Taswald July to contest for the position.
The JSC also mentioned that there will be no public interviews for the three candidates. The requirements for the much sought-after position as advertised have been questioned by those within the legal fraternity, citing that they are too vague.
The bone of contention in regard to the requirements was the 15 years post-admission, which is higher than the requirement for one to be appointed as chief justice.
Furthermore, the incumbent was not subjected to the same requirements during her appointment in 2004.
As a result, the JSC lowered the number of years of admission for a legal practitioner required to apply for the position to 10 years.
However, AR claims that the requirements were lowered because Herunga who is part of the Swapo think-tank complained on social media about the initial criteria.
“There is now a set of requirements and we do not know which requirements did the secretive JSC used; the initial ones or the Ruth Herunga ones,” Amupanda said.
AR questioned why the JSC would shortlist the incumbent. Speaking to New Era, Herunga denied complaining about the requirements on social media.“I will not make any comment on the whole process. The process is being over seen by the JSC, which is a statutory body. They are the ones who should comment on these allegations,” said Herunga.
On her ties to Swapo, Herunga said that the position is political and any of the candidates once selected would have to relinquish any political ties.
“For now, we should let the process take its due course,” noted Herunga.